Tractor Safe Lock, a device that automatically engages the handbrake in a tractor when the driver leaves the seat, has won the Innovation Arena’s People’s Choice Award at the National Ploughing Championships.

The Kerry-based company, founded by student Jack Nagle (16), was one of 69 companies exhibiting at the 2017 Innovation Arena.

The Tractor Safe Lock, invented by Nagle, is activated – once the driver takes the machine out of gear – through a pressure switch on the seat, pushing up the handbrake of the tractor to stop the vehicle from rolling.

“Jack Nagle and Tractor Safe Lock, represents one of the youngest winners of the Innovation Arena to date and he shows how Irish innovation is contributing to making farming safer.”

“The level of interest in the Innovation Arena People’s Choice Awards this year – from client companies, exhibitors, and the public, in general, has been huge. Jack Nagle and Tractor Safe Lock, represents one of the youngest winners of the Innovation Arena to date and he shows how Irish innovation is contributing to making farming safer. We wish Jack all the best in his business and Enterprise Ireland looks forward to working with him in the future,” says James Maloney, senior regional development executive, Enterprise Ireland.

“We look forward to seeing the new designs and innovations in agri-tech coming through in the next year, and we wish Jack and Tractor Safe Lock the very best for the future,” says Anna May McHugh, managing director, National Ploughing Association. 

The People’s Choice Award is voted for by the general public. The number of votes received was 3,000 with Tractor Safe Lock receiving over two-thirds (67 percent) of the overall vote.

The Award is in association with Enterprise Ireland, the National Ploughing Association, and the Irish Farmers Journal.